Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

S Reza Kazemi

Presidents Ghani and Xi, during the former's second trip abroad, after umrah in Saudi Arabia. Photo c/o ToloNews.

On the Road through Beijing (and Kathmandu): The new Afghan leadership’s attempts to engage with Asia

S Reza Kazemi

Compelled by widening economic and other challenges, the new Afghan government seems determined to diversify Afghanistan’s foreign relations by slowly forging stronger economic and political ties with countries in the region. For this purpose, it has at least two cards to play: the country’s geographic position as a corridor for regional trade and its natural […]

Regional Relations Read more

The New Gangs of Herat: How young Afghans turn away from their community

S Reza Kazemi

In the city of Herat, an increasing number of young people drop out of school, form petty gangs, become drug addicts and generally have problems with their community. Many of these youth are also connected to friends abroad with several of them migrating to Iran, Europe and Australia to escape the local community, and recently […]

Context and Culture Read more

Will the ‘Heart of Asia’ start beating? A review of the regional co-operation process

S Reza Kazemi

The dragging-on of the presidential election has also affected regional co-operation on Afghanistan. The Afghan government, supported by the international community, has been attempting to work with regional states towards co-operation on security and development in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood under what is called the ‘Heart of Asia’ or Istanbul process since November 2011. Scheduled […]

Regional Relations Read more

Memorials and Patrons: How northern Afghan elites try to own history

S Reza Kazemi

Elites in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province and most important city in the north, have, in recent years, supported the building of new memorials and re-naming of the city’s streets and intersections. They are also sponsoring intellectuals and their literary and artistic output. These are politically driven cultural projects, attempts by the leading […]

Context and Culture Read more

Little Bridges: AAN’s new report on the slowly growing links between Afghanistan and the Central Asia republics

Christian Bleuer S Reza Kazemi

Reports about Afghanistan and its neighbours to the north usually lump the five former Soviet Central Asia republics together as an undifferentiated block  – ‘the Stans’. Such an approach does not reflect the reality of five countries with very different, mainly bilateral and very local relationships with Afghanistan. The distortion has only been worsened by […]

Regional Relations Read more
Photo: Pajhwok

Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics

S Reza Kazemi Christian Bleuer

The latest AAN report, “Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics”, by Christian Bleuer and Said Reza Kazemi, looks at the state of Afghanistan’s relationships to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia to the north. The authors look at the multi- and bilateral cooperation on various levels and from both […]

Special Reports Read more

Dividing the Field: Who shapes the electoral landscape in a Herat township – and how?

S Reza Kazemi

In Herat, elders have divided a township into areas supporting different presidential contenders. They are motivated by financial and other benefits and a desire to end up on the winning side in any case. But they are also divided, mainly along political party lines. This heralds the coming of potentially highly contested presidential and provincial […]

Political Landscape Read more

Money, Jobs and Mutton Soup: Pre-election discourses in a Herat township

S Reza Kazemi

In Herat, campaign activity for Afghanistan’s crucial simultaneous presidential and provincial council elections began well before the official start on 2 February 2014, at least in parts of the city’s outskirts. The candidates are increasingly making themselves known to ordinary people and some presidential candidates have also been making initial appearances in local communities. Small […]

Political Landscape Read more

Little Leagues, Great Hopes: Afghan grassroots football kicks off

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan’s football premier league and its national team have received tremendous attention inside and outside the country, particularly after the national team’s victory in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship. Children’s football, on the other hand, has gone largely unnoticed – although experts say that an Afghan team has the chance to even […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Over-promising, Under-delivering: The Outcome of the Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan

S Reza Kazemi

The third Afghanistan-focussed ‘Heart of Asia’, also known as Istanbul Process, ministerial conference came to an end on 26 April 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At least three issues stood out: (1) the growing importance the Afghan government attaches to the regional initiative towards and after 2014, (2) the major conflicts involving some of the prominent […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan: Will the ‘Heart of Asia’ Start Throbbing?

S Reza Kazemi

The ‘Heart of Asia’ process that was launched in November 2011 in Turkey aims to galvanise regional co-operation for security and development in Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbourhood. Approximately a year and a half has passed, with a hard-to-track number of conferences and meetings. The latest is to take place on 26 April […]

International Engagement Read more

The ‘Afghanistan 1400’ Movement: Changing Youth Politics in Afghanistan?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan 1400, a new civic-political youth organisation, recently declared its existence in what is, in practice, a scattered and largely manipulated youth landscape in Afghanistan. Established by a number of highly educated and diverse young people, the group pursues an ambitious and forward-looking agenda of contributing to the emergence of a ‘prosperous and democratic Afghanistan’ […]

Political Landscape Read more